Eminence Front… it’s a put on

GMC runs ads for its shiny new fleet with The Who’s “Eminence Front” as background music.

Eminence Front?

I’m a huge fan of The Who, but Eminence Front?!  Just about the worst song to advertise anything. Let’s consider (I’ve bolded the main eye-roll parts):

THE LYRICS:
The sun shines and people forget
They spray flies as the speedboat glides and people forget
Forget they’re hiding.
The girls smile and people forget
The snow packs as the skier tracks and people forget
Forget they’re hiding.

Behind an eminence front
Eminence front – It’s a put on.
It’s Eminence front, It’s Eminence front – It’s a put on.
(repeated)

Come and join the party dress to kill
Won’t you come and join the party, dress to kill.
Dress to kill.

The drinks flow, people forget
That big wheel spins, the hair thins, people forget
Forget they’re hiding
The news slows, people forget
The shares crash, hopes are dashed, people forget
Forget they’re hiding.

Behind an eminence front
An Eminence front – it’s a put on
(repeated)

It’s a put on, It’s a put on, It’s a put on, It’s a put on
Come on join the party
Dress to
Dress yourself to kill.

WAIT A MINUTE!

Eminence means: high station, rank, etc. I understand why that’s attractive to a car company trying to sell power, bling, and everything that goes with it. But the song is about the front that people put up to give the appearance of station and rank, and it’s all fake.

Songfacts.com says about the song:
“This song criticizes the excess of the wealthy. It would foreshadow how the 1980s progressed, becoming known as “The ‘Me’ Decade” or “The Decade of Greed.”

In Townshend’s own words, the song was written for IT’S HARD: “Everyone in the band wanted to write about the fact that the post war dream, one that rock had partly helped to promise, hadn’t been delivered”

Oops. Did anyone at the ad company listen to the song first?

Using that music to advertise anything, without regard for the meaning of the artist’s, is the ultimate Eminence Front. I can only imagine that Towshend is laughing his way to the bank on this one.  Well played, Pete.

File under “Irony”.

Sources:

Songfacts: http://www.songfacts.com/detail.php?id=6863
Townshend Interview: http://thewho.com/pete-townshend-fan-interview-part-1-of-2/

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